Common Garden Pests: Japanese Beetle

January 3, 2011 by Mario  
Filed under Organic Gardening

“Survival Doc” of finds Japanese Beetles in his grape vines in late June in Eastern Missouri. This video shows how to identify this serious garden pest and discusses how to naturally control it.

How to Plant Square Foot Gardens : How to Avoid Pests in Square Foot Gardens

August 5, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Gardening Tips

Learn how to avoid pests in square foot gardens with expert gardening tips in this free video clip on growing grid gardens. Expert: Yolanda Vanveen Contact: Bio: Yolanda Vanveen is sustainable gardener who lives in Kalama, Wash. Filmmaker: Daron Stetner

Hydroponic Gardening – Managing Pests & Diseases

March 19, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under 20

As with soil-based gardens, hydroponic plants require good pest and disease maintenance controls. Failure to do so creates the same results as with ‘ordinary’ gardens i.e. spindly or dead plants. Since the majority of hydroponic plants are fruits and vegetables, that means the plants are not worth eating.

However, managing the hydroponic garden is even trickier, since disease and pests have it much easier in this setting. Plants are continuously kept wet, either immersed in water (‘true’ hydroponics) or continually sprayed (aeroponics) or reside in a permanently wet medium such as perlite or sand. Fortunately, as with soil-based gardens, there is an large array of available methods to manage the problem.

Using beneficial life forms is one popular way to control unwanted pests, including certain types of bacteria and fungi. These can help to control spider mites and other invaders by crowding them out, eating them or releasing compounds toxic to the pest. They’re known as beneficial organisms because they do all that without damaging the plants themselves.

Different types of pesticides are available, too.

Pesticidal soaps have been in use for centuries and still provide effective and non-toxic ways to keep the pests down. One category called botanicals are compounds released by plants themselves that have been combined into an easy-to-use pest control method. Botanicals break down naturally from exposure to air and water and are brilliant because they leave no harmful chemicals behind.

Neem oil can control over 400 different types of pest that commonly invade gardens, including hydroponic ones. A simple spray to the leaves can often eliminate common pests. The bugs absorb the oil, which limits their ability to reproduce, leading to a lower population.

For more serious infestations, many commercial pesticides continue to work well.

White flies, aphids, mites and other pests can be a problem in hydroponic settings, just as in soil-based gardens. Powdery mildew is common. In fact, because of the continual moisture bugs and pests have a ‘friendly’ environment. Making it ‘unfriendly’ is straightforward enough, using fungicides and organicides. Sulfur-based compounds can help control white flies, mealy bugs, thrips and more.

Pyrethrum continues to be a safe and effective means of control. Though it sounds man made it is actually derived from flowers. This class of natural compounds released by plants are extracted and used in many commercial insecticides. Dosage is low, so the compound is very safe when used correctly (always read the label). Azatrol is a broad spectrum insecticide that provides another easy control method over most common pests.

Hydroponic gardeners have to exercise additional care when using any disease or pest control method, though. Since no soil is present to hold on to the roots, it’s easier to damage a plant when manipulating the leaves and stems. That means that if you pick off mites by hand – an effective method for low-number infestations – it’s important to exercise extra care.

Since moisture is present, mildew and other fungi are more common in hydroponic gardens. Keeping leaves dry and just the roots wet will help. Any insecticide sprayed on to your plants or vegetable should be allowed to dry under the grow lights. For aeroponically grown plants, for example, that may require a temporary relocation of the indoor garden.

Garden Pests – How To Get Rid Of Garden Pests And Keep Your Garden Healthy!

March 13, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under 20

Whether you are in Hawaii or Arizona, when the topic centers on gardening, one of the tests that gardening lovers commonly face is that of pest control. Even though organic approaches have been always present and have been applied for gardening, controlling bugs in the developed world right from the Second World War has for the most part employed synthetic chemical pesticides to ward off vermin of all sizes and shapes.

An ever-rising consciousness of the hazards and shortcomings related to chemical pesticides has of late led to an increasing tendency among the gardeners to go back to an organic process when contending with pests.

It is an accepted fact that with all forms of gardening, the use of an organic process can be very successful and reduces costs. It has become progressively simpler to search for numerous hints on the internet that if properly applied will assist in handling the most maddening vermin that break into and damage the garden.

Collecting information regarding the look, behavior, adversaries, and the life sequence of pests gives gardeners the chance to eliminate destructive insects from the garden, thus allowing only helpful insects to remain in the garden to carry out their work.

In the gardening scenario, controlling pests can be looked upon as being split into diverse yet markedly identical processes. Often, the most straightforward and clear form of assault initially launched in steering clear of the damaging and bothersome dilemma of insects, lies in the actual choice of flowers and vegetables.

By combining nature and science, growers of flowers and plants persist in developing the varieties currently existing so that they can withstand disease and insects. With a plethora of plant varieties present that are capable of fighting bugs and diseases, doing a little research and studying the seed labels will ensure good returns.

While the historical and long-established method of crop rotation calls for detailed scheduling and utmost consideration in gardening at home, pest control is hugely benefited by this and further practices that need gardeners to be conscious of insect affinity held out by the garden as the bugs’ host and breeding place.

Getting rid of damaged plants, developing the soil, snipping, and placing strong posts to support plants off the ground, comprise the organic culture practice that aids in restraining diseases and pests.

Frequently in the organic form of gardening, a simple means of controlling pests is the physical extraction and destruction of bugs from vegetables, flowers, and plants. Undoubtedly, the use of hands and footwear forms a successful though repugnant approach to most queasy gardeners with delicate bellies.

It is apparent with organic gardening, controlling pests by giving serious thought to the plants cultivated, garden spot, and the bugs involved will bring about prosperous and profuse gardens from Hawaii to Arizona.

Discover The Top 10 Tips For Keeping Pests And diseases Away From Your Organic vegetable Plants

March 12, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under 20

Everytime a new chemical is produced for commercial use a diluted version appears in the local garden
Centre which claims to do great things for pest elimination.  The truth is that by cultivating your own natural
Organic garden you won’t face the same Problems as those who choose to use artificial products and you
Will have much healthier organic vegetable plants. 

Below you’ll find the top ten actions you can take to maintain a healthy organic garden all year round
And keep pests and diseases off your organic vegetable plants. 

1.  Good cultivating practices

Always keep a powerful organic approach when cultivating your organic vegetable plants.  Don’t forget to feed the soil
Not the plant. 

two.  Keep your garden neat

Never leave rubbish scattered around put weeds on the compost heap straightaway.  This is extra important with thinned
Sprouts, because insect pests are attracted by the smell of bruised stems. 

3.  Keep your compost heap healthy

remember to only put healthy plant waste on your heap.  If any hint of disease, burn it{!}  Always burn prunings from
Fruit tree’s as they are probably going to become infected with mildew.  The ashes from these plants may be used as a manure
For your organic vegetable plants. 

4.  Sterilize your pots and seed trays

remember to keep pots and seed trays awfully clean and if possible sterilize with boiling water.  If you’re growing
Your organic vegetable plants in a greenhouse keep this extra clean and always pick off a pest or any
Fungus you find on a leaf immediately. 

5.  Keep you daily wariness

To keep your organic vegetable plants upto scratch you will need to be double vigilant especially in the summertime
Months.  Get into the practice of walking around the garden at least once a day.  Remove errant weeds and keep an eye
Open for the first signs of attack from pests and diseases. 

six.  Always buy healthy plants

In most nations the govt.   cover some plants with a certificate of health to show they’re free from illness. 
It is really easy to buy plants that have viruses or diseases. 

seven.  Don’t just buy healthy plants, raise healthy plants too{!} 

Safeguard plants you have raised yourself.  It can be difficult to remove the weaklings when you have grown them yourself. 
Remember a young plant infected with an illness is a drawback to all of your organic vegetable plants from the start. 

8.  Reduce Aphids

Hover flies are the most valuable pest predator in the garden.  The female will lay her eggs on the colonies
Of aphids so that larvae have a widely available source of food.  To draw in hover flies plant marigolds
( Tagetes and calendula ), poppies ( papaversp ) or nasturtiums ( Trapaeolum ). 

9.  Inspire other predators

It is tougher to attract more predators because they don’t always feed on flowers.  Wasps, ladybirds and
Lacewings can be encouraged by planting carrots between rows of onions so the smell of the carrots is disguised. 

ten.  Control birds and animals

The single most deleterious pests in the garden are the bigger ones like birds, deer, rabbits, moles and mice. 
The most effective control is to stop them reaching your crops.  Physically cover seeds with netting and protect
Crops by placing stakes in the ground with netting placed ott.  Do not forget to put jam jars over the top
Of the stakes to defend the netting.

How to Deal With Garden Pests

March 11, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under 20

While tending to my own garden, I have found that one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a gardener is to walk outside to check on your plants. It’s just a routine walk to make sure that your garden is thriving, but you end up finding holes in all of your plants that looked fine only hours before. The explanations for some of these plant-destroying holes are garden pests. Some of the main garden pests are slugs, worms, caterpillars, birds, snails, and the occasional gopher. Although you can never wipe out these pests entirely, after all your hard work in the garden you have to do something.

Insects are one of the worst things to have in your garden; they can live under the soil, in old weeds or piles of leaves, or in a number of other places. In order to help keep insects away, always try and eliminate places in your garden and near your garden that these insects and other plant diseases could be living. Remove old leaves, weeds, or any other decaying matter that insects and diseases could be living in from your yard. Also, regularly turn over your garden soil and break apart any clumps of dirt so that you can eliminate the living spaces any insects that might be hiding underground.

Another way to rid your garden of the pests is to use dormant spray, which is used to keep destructive insects and diseases under control. It is best that you use dormant spray when your plants are dormant, usually around February or early March. I have used dormant spray many times on my garden and it has worked wonders on keeping insects out. But as I learned from experience, dormant spray is only effective if you follow the correct instructions. When I first decided to use some on my garden, I just dumped it everywhere in hopes of killing everything harmful. Unfortunately I ended up killing my entire garden along with my neighbors. Some insects can be beneficial to your garden though, so be sure to find out which insects help your garden.

Another pest problem I’ve had besides insects has been birds. Whenever I see birds in my garden I run outside a chase them away, but as soon as I step inside they come right back. The solution that I’ve come up with to keep the birds away from my garden is to put a bird feeder in my yard. Instead of costing me time and money by eating my garden, the birds eat at the bird feeder. In the long run it’ll save you money. Not only can a bird feeder help keep birds away from your garden, but they can also be a new part of your yard decoration. Although not completely eliminating my bird problem, my bird feeder has made the problem smaller. Getting a dog has also helped.

If you start seeing mounds of dirt around your yard, and your plants keep unexplainably dieing, you can assume that you have a gopher problem. Thankfully, this is one of the few garden pasts that I haven’t had. However my friend has struggled with a tremendous gopher infestation, so I decided to research it. Gophers are rodents that are five to fourteen inches long. Their fur can be black, light brown, or white, and they have small tails. One method of getting rid of these root-eating pests is to set traps. The key to successfully capturing a gopher using a trap is to successfully locate the gopher’s tunnels and set the trap correctly. Another way to get rid of them is to use smoke bombs, which you place into the tunnel and the smoke spreads through out it and hopefully reaches the gopher.

If you suspect that your gardens are being pillaged by any of the pests I mentioned, I encourage you to try your hardest to eliminate the problem as soon as possible. The longer you let the species stay, the more established it will become.

Dealing With Garden Pests

March 10, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under 20

One of the most frustrating things that can happen to any keen gardener is finding holes and other ailments in your plants as you wonder through your garden. What should have been an enjoyment of your gardening efforts soon turns into a nightmare as you find more and more evidence of pests in your garden. These pests come in many different shapes and sizes, with some of the most common being worms, slugs, caterpillars, snails and birds. Since they are a natural part of the environment, it is impossible to totally eradicate these pests, but you can still do a lot to protect your garden and your efforts.

While garden pests do come in many different varieties, those belonging to the insect family can wreak the most havoc on any garden. Insects have been known to destroy entire gardens in a matter of hours. The first step to dealing with insects, is prevention. Reduce the areas that insects and other diseases thrive. Decaying matter, weeds, and old leaves provide ample breeding grounds for these pests. Clear them as soon and as often as possible. Regularly turning the soil in uncultivated parts of the garden can also help you eliminate any insects that might have taken up shelter underground. Where possible, do create your compost heap in a part of the garden as far away from your most vulnerable plants as possible.

Another popular pest and plant disease control method is the use of dormant sprays. These sprays are most effective if used when your garden’s plants are dormant too, which in the northern hemisphere, is around February. Because these sprays can be quite potent, it is very important to follow the usage directions carefully. Just spraying indiscriminately, will be both ineffective, and result in you killing off huge tracts of your garden in the process. While you do want to kill off pests, you do not want to kill every living creature in your garden. A lot of insects and bugs are beneficial for the healthy growth of some plants, so you do need to do your research, and use such sprays carefully.

Another oft ignored pest that wreaks havoc in many gardens is the common bird. Many gardeners try and keep these at bay by chasing them away on sight. It can get tiresome just keeping an eye on your garden, hence the popularity of scarecrows. These can be less effective in places with little wind, as the birds soon get used to them. A better approach could be the installation of a bird feeder in the garden. As well as keeping the birds from the more vulnerable plants in the guardian, a bird feeder can add to the overall character of your garden. Lastly, domestic pets like dogs and cats can help eliminate the problem of birds in the garden, although such pets can themselves damage your garden.

Some gardeners are unfortunate enough to suffer gopher infestations. The first sign of this is seeing dirt mounds around the garden, and the inexplicable death of otherwise healthy plants. These rodents can be anything between 5 and 14 inches long, and are often black or a light brown in color. Their preferred diet of plant roots is what kills off most plants where gophers are found. An effective way of dealing with them is using specialized gopher traps. Once you have located their tunnels, you can use the traps, or in more extreme cases, use smoke bombs thrown into these tunnels to eliminate them.

The main trick to dealing with garden pest though, is swift action. Once you spot signs of pests, eliminate them as soon as possible, before they become established. Once done, follow the guidance above, and eliminate their breeding grounds, and by extension any chance of the pest problem recurring. If your garden is close to your neighbors, it can be beneficial to coordinate pest elimination efforts, to ensure that all the areas near your vulnerable plants are pest free.

Frangipani (plumeria) Pests and Diseases

March 10, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under 20

Although frangipanis are fairly hardy, there are some pests and diseases which can affect them, predominantly fungus, scale, frangipani rust and stem rot.

Fungus, Mold & Powdery Mildew

Leaves affected by fungus or mold can be sprayed with a copper based fungicide and white oil solution. If you prefer organic solutions, try a mixture of powdered milk powder and white oil or detergent.

Keeping plants well nourished helps prevent fungal infections. Potash is particularly good for improving disease resistance in frangipanis.

Hemispherical Scale

Leaves affected by hemispherical scale have dark to light brown bumps that are glossy, smooth and hemispherical. Leaves may have a black sooty coating.

Scale can be treated by spraying with white oil in spring to early summer. If you prefer organic solutions, try encouraging natural predators to your garden, such as ladybugs, the scale eating caterpillar, and parasitic wasps. Many plants attract ladybugs including daisies, zinnias, and zucchini.

Frangipani Rust

There is a new disease attacking frangipanis in Australia called frangipani rust. It is most noticeable in late summer and early autumn. An orange to yellow powdery substance (actually pustules) appears on the underside of leaves. They rupture and spread spores which pass the disease to other plants nearby. The upper sides of the leaves are brown and discoloured. Severe infections may cause the leaves to drop prematurely and can lead to the death of small plants, however larger trees appear to suffer no ill effects (apart from leaf drop).

To control frangipani rust try using a fungicide (such as Mancozeb) in the warmer months to slow the development of the disease. Disposing of all fallen leaves in winter and spraying the tree and the area under the tree with a fungicide may slow the reappearance of frangipani rust next season.

The good news is that recently some frangipani trees have built up a resistance to rust, so it may be on it’s way out.

Stem Rot & Black Tip Dieback

As frangipanis lose their leaves over winter, soft, withered stems may become visible. It’s a condition called ‘stem rot’ and it’s quite common in trees that have been stressed by frosts, drought, lack of sunlight or just plain old age.

The best way to keep it under control is to simply prune off any diseased growth, but when you do, it’s important to make sure you cut it right back to good, healthy tissue.

Dying tip growth is commonly referred to as black tip dieback. Some newer deciduous cultivars and evergreen frangipanis are particularly prone to the disease.

Commercial frangipani growers suggest the problem is worse in areas where fruit-spotting bug and beetle activity is high. This is because any insect attack on the tip of the plant predisposes it to a secondary dieback infection.

Affected plants typically reshoot beneath the damaged portion of stem. If plants appear unsightly or you are concerned that the rot is advancing down the stem, use sharp pruners to cut back to clean tissue. Be sure to use hot water or household disinfectant to clean pruners between cuts so as to minimise potential disease transfer.

Badly affected plants may benefit from an application of fungicide to limit the disease’s spread.

Garden Pests – Begone With The Nuisance

February 20, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Gardening Ideas

Gardens are a matter of pride to a gardener. Gardeners put in a great amount of effort in tending to the plants and maintaining the garden. Therefore, it is highly frustrating to have insects or pests in the garden that are destroying it. One fine day, you may be surprised to see the leaves of the plants full of holes. The plants that were in perfect health a few hours ago may have been devoured by some plant-eating insect. An incident such as this needs immediate attention. The reason for this destruction of your plants could be garden pests. This is one issue that has to be dealt with immediately; otherwise, all your hard work in creating a beautiful garden will go waste. Garden pests are mainly slugs, insects, worms, caterpillars, snails, birds, and the occasional gopher. It is impossible to wipe out garden pests in their entirety; however, one can take some steps to reduce the infestation.

Insects are the worst form of pests. They usually take up residence under fallen leaves or decaying matter or even in the soil. It is always better to keep the garden clean and free from old fallen leaves, dead wood and dirt. Regular weeding can help to keep insects at bay. The soil can also be turned up occasionally so that the insects cannot burrow underneath to destroy the roots of the plants. Any lumps formed need to be broken and the soil loosened out regularly. Another way to keep the garden free from pests is to use dormant spray. It helps to keep diseases and destructive insects under control. It can work wonders for the garden by keeping it healthy and free from pests. It is to be used during the month of February or early March when most plants are in their dormant phase. However, dormant spray is effective only if the instructions for use are strictly followed. If not, one may end up killing the entire garden and the plants in the surrounding areas. Some insects can be beneficial to the garden, like those promoting pollination and fertilization of the flowers. Therefore, one needs to be sure of which insects are the pests that need to be destroyed.

Birds are attracted to the insects in the garden and they may end up destroying the fruits and flowers in the garden. One way to get rid of them is to chase them away, but this is not a very practical solution. They return to the same spot once they feel the area is safe. As the saying goes, what cannot be cured must be endured. One way to reduce the problem would be to place a bird feeder in the garden. The birds can then feed at the bird feeder rather than eating up the garden. In the long run it saves the time, energy and money spent on the garden. The bird feeder can be a part of the garden d

Fall Lawn and Garden Pests

February 18, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Gardening Ideas

With the cool weather of the fall season, most lawn and garden pests and diseases begin to dwindle away. Yet, there are a few lawn and garden pests that thrive off of the cool temperatures of the fall season.
One good point about fall lawn and garden pests is that they will not have the chance to last as long as spring and summer pests because the freezing temperatures of winter will kill them off long before they do a tremendous amount of damage.

Still, though, if these fall lawn and garden pests have been at it all summer long, they may stick around through the fall and wreak havoc on the remaining lawn and garden perennials, bulbs and trees.

Fall Armyworms

The most beautiful part about the fall season is the different colors of foliage that will begin to appear in September and October. Unfortunately, Fall Armyworms love to prey on this beautiful foliage during the fall months, as their name suggests, and can do damage very rapidly.

They usually appear in September and will stick around until the first big frost. The major problem with this fall lawn and garden pest is that they almost always feed at night, making it hard to identify the problem until you wake in the morning to leaves that have been chewed around the edges.

The upside to Fall Armyworms as a fall lawn and garden pest is that they are usually easy to spot, as they are a large tan to dark brown colored worm with a large stripe either brown or red in color on each side.
Fall Armyworms often like to make themselves present in cornfields in the early fall months and can cause major damage to the remaining corn crops. For those farmers and gardeners who are aware of Fall Armyworms, a pretreatment of pesticides will usually kill the larvae that are preparing to hatch. Unfortunately, the pretreatment needs to be established by late July or August to prevent damage in September.


Grubworms like the cool weather season and feed more in the spring and fall months. Fortunately as a fall lawn and garden pest they do not do as much damage as they do in the spring, but they can still be a concern for some climate zones, especially those that stay above freezing well into November.

Keep in mind that grubworms will usually survive over the winter and turn into adult beetles, repeating the entire life cycle in the spring, and this is why grubworms can be such a problem for all seasons.

Most of the time, they will hatch in the late summer and begin feeding on lawn and garden roots in the fall. This is when gardeners will notice patches of dead grass or grass that is squishy or can easily be pulled up since the roots are missing.

If at all possible, apply grubworm control in the mid to late summer, something with the active ingredient imidacloprid, which is a chloro-nicotinyl compound. This will kill the larvae before they get a chance to hatch in the late summer and will keep the life cycle from perpetuating.

Sod Webworms

Similar to the grubworms, sod webworms have a year long life cycle that means they can become fall lawn and garden pests as well as being bothersome during the spring and summer. Instead of arriving in the form of beetles, the sod webworms come from adult moths that usually begin laying eggs in the spring.

The difference is that their eggs hatch fairly quickly but the webworms are so small that their infestation may go undetected until they cocoon and reemerge as moths in the late summer to produce another generation that is more destructive. This is why you may see sod webworm problems in the fall months.

While it is helpful to use preventive sod webworm control through Microbial pesticides, the problem is that many of these pesticides will not only kill the moths of sod webworms, they may also kill butterflies and even non-pest moths.

The best method of prevention is to simply clean up leaves, grass clippings, mulch and plant debris in the fall months to keep the webworms from making webs in these places and producing more larvae.

Ted Roberson owner of landscape living is a landscape and garden enthusiast who has years of experience working and creating outdoor living areas. Discover how you can improve and maintain your landscape and garden area with simple projects.

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